Workshops and Presentations

Collage with Students

The Heroine Journeys Project team is available to provide presentations and lead workshops  designed to help artists and writers, professionals, students, and others seeking to make sense of life experiences to reframe experience that does not fit the conventional hero’s journey narrative.  Presentations can be structured to last 1-2 hours, and workshops are typically 2-3 hours but can be contracted or combined or expanded into a half or full day retreat to accommodate the needs of the sponsoring organization.  We can also  custom-design a workshop for your profession or group.

For more information or to schedule a presentation or workshop, click here.

Our current workshop offerings include:

Greek statuteRe-Visioning Experience: The  Hero’s Journey, the Heroine’s Journey and the Healing Journey Narrative Arcs

In  Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey the hero leaves home and family to undertake an adventure, and, either alone or with the assistance of minor characters helpers, conquers adversaries, obtains treasure and returns home with greater status or goods where he is  welcomed and validated as the new leader.  The path to self-actualization, community, and spiritual growth of women and members of marginalized groups often take a different route because of the different cultural choices and limitations they face and the different values and goals they embody and pursue.   In this presentation we describe and explore the stages of the hero’s journey, and three alternative journey arcs– two heroine journey arcs and a healing journey narrative arc using examples from myth, literature, and film.  We also examine the psychological and social underpinnings of each arc and how a narrative arc can influence individuals’ views of their experience and themselves.  In the interactive workshop participants map and create their own heroine journey narrative through a series of guided exercises.

Storm Triptych 1 from the Katrina Paintings by David BatesExploring the Role of Lies and Betrayals in Literature and Life

Unlike the hero’s journey, which typically begins with a call to adventure, the heroine’s journey often begins with  disillusionment or betrayal.  Betrayal, a devastating experience regardless of age or sophistication, can destabilize one’s entire life and world view.  Yet nearly everyone has experienced betrayal,  and betrayal, lies, and deceit, and our response to them, are central to many heroine journeys.  In this workshop we explore personal, cultural, political, familial, medical, environmental, and other forms of lies and betrayals and their role in losing, recovering and defining integrity and the soul.  Using excerpts from literature, film, and visual arts, this guided interactive workshop will help participants to explore their own creative and personal journeys around crimes of the heart.

How We Are Changed Flyer for websiteHow We Are Changed by the Things that Don’t Happen

Joseph Campbell identified a pattern of narrative called the Hero’s Journey that is generally described as the adventure of a hero person (often male) who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of a group, tribe or civilization with an emphasis on the hero’s actions and deeds in facing and overcoming obstacles.But what about the events and deeds and consequences that don’t happen?  The small unrecognized daily diligences that avert danger; expectations and dreams that never come to pass; death and misfortune that passes over your family, opportunities passed up, etc. How are we changed by these things?

In this interactive workshop we explore the differences between a conventional story and a story of something that doesn’t happen and why such stories about things that don’t happen are an important part of our experience.  Workshop examples are likely to include works by Emily Dickinson, Jane Kenyon, Randall Jarrell, Gail Mazur, Judy Jordan, Wistawa Szymborska, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, James Joyce, Stuart Dybek, Lorrie Moore, and Alice Munro, among others.

four_chambered_heart_mandala_poster-rb9ab5f8375a948169336b97650341652_fwiz_8byvr_324 Glass Slippers, Glass Ceilings, and the Four Chambered Heart: The Heroine’s Journey in the Workplace

Women, minorities, and many men enter the workplace with an unexamined vision of career success that is based on the hero’s journey, only to find that the workplace and/or their own needs and desires are inconsistent with that vision.  In the absence of another way to think about success and their life’s work, many struggle with chronic stress, fatigue, dissatisfaction, and feeling like a failure or fraud.  Drawing upon more than two decades of research, studies, and interviews with hundreds of professional women, this presentation and interactive workshop helps participants explore their own personal  definitions of success, examine how their workplaces define success, and develop short and long-term strategies for navigating discrepancies between the two.


The Role of Dreams, Intuition, Speculation, and Prophesy in  Heroine’s Journey Narratives

Artemis to Aphrodite; the Goddess Archetypes in Women’s Personal Narratives

The Seduction of the Hero’s Journey and Its Influence on Identity, Culture, and Social Change

Feminism as a Heroine’s Journey



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